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Why take dietary supplements when you are vegan or vegetarian?

As we know, it is now essential, for health, ethical and environmental reasons, to reduce animal proteins and increase its intake of plant products. Some consumers have adopted flexitarianism, a food practice that includes limiting the consumption of red meat and fish. Others follow a more restrictive diet such as vegetarianism, veganism or veganism, which is now becoming more and more popular.

Indeed, over the years, we are approaching a real turning point towards a more plant-based diet. However, without any dietary restrictions, it is already difficult on a daily basis to follow a diet that is always varied and balanced.

In addition, the nutritional quality of our food is sometimes no longer sufficient to meet our nutritional needs. As a result, vegetarians or vegans are easily more likely to experience nutritional deficiencies or deficiencies.

Vegetarianism and veganism, what are the differences?

The vegetarian diet excludes the consumption of any meat. A vegetarian, unlike vegans and vegans, do not say no to different dairy products. As for the vegan diet, it is free of animal products: no meat, fish, poultry, dairy products or even products from the hive (honey, beeswax…).

Veganism doesn’t just stop at food but is a real lifestyle choice. Being vegan means excluding animal exploitation from one’s way of life. As a result, vegans also exclude the wearing of clothing made from animal raw materials (fur, leather, wool, silk, etc.). They do not use any hygiene or maintenance products tested on animals in the laboratory.

What potential nutritional deficiencies?

The plant diet is much richer than you might think! It consists of legumes, cereals, fats, vegetables, fruits, oilseeds, mushrooms, spices,…. Plants are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids, essential fatty acids and fibre, all of which are essential for our health.

However, plants do not always provide all the nutrients essential to the proper functioning of the body. Indeed, consumption studies show that a large part of the vegan population have lower intakes on certain nutrients such as vitamin B12, calcium, iron or omega 3. In addition, it is sometimes difficult to find the right cereal/legume balance for a good protein balance with all essential amino acids.

Dietary supplements suitable for vegetarians and vegans These populations are more easily confronted with nutritional deficiencies, they sometimes need to supplement themselves in order to fight against states of nervous and physical fatigue, a deficiency of the immune system, hair loss or even dull skin!

However, to make up for the deficiencies of everyday life, a vegetarian or vegan person must carefully study the composition of the products. Indeed, some dietary supplements contain animal ingredients such as fish oils rich in omega 3 or shark cartilage for joints. They are therefore not appropriate for these populations. On the other hand, supplements concentrated in plant-based ingredients with 100 vegetable formulas are ideal for vegetarian diets and vegan lifestyles (nb: if the products do not contain hive-derived products).

Source:

1 Davey GK, Spencer EA, Appleby PN, Allen NE, Knox KH, Key TJ. EPIC-Oxford: lifestyle characteristics and nutrient intakes in a cohort of 33,883 meat-eaters and 31,546 non-meat-eaters in the UK. Public Health Nutr. 2003 May;6(3):259-69.